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Padoan says clarification needed on bill payments

Renzi promises quick action on billions of outstanding debts

25 February, 19:13
Padoan says clarification needed on bill payments (See related) (ANSA) - Rome, February 25 - The process for making further payments on outstanding bills owed by the Italian government to business must be clarified, Italy's new Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said Tuesday.

"We will still have to clarify (the process)," he said, following promises Monday by Premier Matteo Renzi of further repayments for the billions of euros owed for goods and services the government received in the past.

Last year, the Italian government of former premier Enrico Letta pledged to pay off 20 billion euros in outstanding debts in 2013 with another 20 billion to be repaid in 2014.

On Monday, Renzi said that paying all government bills owed to business to help revive the economy is "the first pledge" of his new administration.

Businesses mired in Italy's worst postwar recession, only now coming to an end, have been complaining for years about the sluggishness of the public administration in paying them.